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My parents (aged 68/70) currently live in the UK and have been visiting Australia for 3 months at a time for the last 8 years. They are looking to move to Australia permanently and pass the balance of family test - my husband and I will be sponsors. 
We looked at the options and decided the Aged Parent Visa (804) would be the way to go. Now I'm not sure. 

  • I understand the Aged Parent means they have temporary residency in Australia (for the 30 years it takes to get the visa), however you're no longer a resident in the UK after 3 month living abroad. This effectively leaves them in limbo  not considered resident in any country when it comes to health care. 
  • I know they will have access to Medicare under the reciprocal health agreement, but what is classed as emergency treatment? If either parent is diagnosed with a serious illness would that be treated under medicare? How much should we budget if not? 
  • UK pension will be frozen when they leave, meaning they could be seriously out of pocked in 10-20 years. I see there are still people campaigning against this, but it doesn't look hopeful. 

Second option is the Contributory Parent Visa, which I believe will cost close to $100,000 for both parents. ($47k each)

  • How long is it until this visa is granted if they apply in Australia? 
  • How long until they are covered for full Medicare? 
  • Can they apply for a Pension Card straight away? 
  • Can they claim AU pension in 10 years time? 
  • Are there any other benefits to paying for this visa other than instant access to full Medicare? (And is it actually instant?)

Is there anyone here who has been though this process with their parents? Any issues I should consider? 

Thank you. 

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As you have already researched, the none contributory has some very big issues. Not least the reduced level of medical care, which is a massive issue for older people. Basically, reciprocal cover means they have access to a GP and treatment for emergencies. But probably not serious illness or disease  or even things such as joint replacements. They would have no access to any state assistance or benefits. Also, if they returned to the UK, even if permanently, they may not have access to full NHS care for six months. No benefits for three months

The contributory visa takes about 2.5 to 3 years to process. If they apply on shore, then the same Medicare restrictions would apply. So very reduced access until the visa was granted. 

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4 hours ago, Molly said:

Can they claim AU pension in 10 years time? 

To get the Australian pension, you need 10 years' residence including 5 years "working life" (i.e. before pensionable age). The rules changed recently.

As VeryStormy points out, the ability to access medical care is a huge issue for the non-contributory visa.  Someone posted here recently - their parents are on that visa and her father has been diagnosed with leukemia.  Fortunately, they still have their house in the UK so they can go back, but they'd be up the creek if they'd sold it.   Britain is cracking down on "medical tourism", so you can't just fly home and get treatment any more.  You have to show proof that you're resident in the UK before they'll treat you under the NHS.

It's not a nice subject to consider, but we all have to die of something, and unless your parents are superhuman, it's likely they will pass away during the 30 year wait - of an illness that will need medical care, perhaps for a prolonged period.   How will the surviving partner - or you - pay for that?   The real cost of my spinal surgery was over $30,000, and I was only in hospital a week.  My oh had a minor skin op done privately last week - $6,000 and he didn't even stay overnight.  

Your parents could get private health insurance, but they'd have to get international cover (more like travel insurance) which is far more expensive.  Because they wouldn't be legal residents of Australia, they're not eligible for the standard health insurance.

As for the contributory visa - I'm not even sure you can apply for it onshore, I'm sure someone else will know.  But I suspect it would be processed faster offshore.  



Edited by Marisawright

Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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